"Language -- which all human societies have in immense grammatical complexity -- is far more interesting than pedantry."
On October 22, the death of my close friend Jorge Valls affected me deeply, reawakening a pain always close to my consciousness after the sudden death of my oldest son years ago. Even though Jorge was 82, his demise was unexpected. We talked by phone only recently.
People love to write about writing. All too often, these pieces are titled "10 essential grammar tips" or the like, and the author proceeds to talk about common errors in writing that aren't actually grammatical in nature, or he or she compares anvils and oranges.
He felt classical Arabic should be the object of modernization, not spoken colloquial Arabic in all its permutations, and was instrumental in the establishment of "Al Majma' Al Loghawi" (The Arabic Language Academy) to attain that goal.
Yet just as we must learn a language, it seems the language itself may train us: to focus on one area of life and disregard another, to acquire and practice a new skill while putting others on the back burner, to prioritize the present or prepare for our future.
As a Caribbean islander transplanted in New York, I am often perplexed by the response even the slightest lilt can elicit, from curiosity to downright imitation. But is imitation always the highest form of flattery? The recent Super Bowl ad by Volkswagen seems to have reignited the discussion.
Social and cultural equality is out of our reach not because we are unable or unwilling to acknowledge and accept difference, but because we haven't yet been successful at eliminating difference.
There is a "vast knowledge base, knowledge of plants, animals, how to live sustainably, that is contained uniquely in those
Epithets like "socialist" and "fascist" enable people on the right to bond with each other and -- though they may not acknowledge it -- to alienate everybody else.
"I have to go." "One minute." I hope anyone running for office is thinking about this. There's heavy emphasis of the verb